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First on CNBC: CNBC Transcript: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Speaks with CNBC's "Closing Bell"

WHEN: TUESDAY, JUNE 17TH

WHERE: CNBC'S "CLOSING BELL"

Following is the unofficial transcript of a FIRST ON CNBC interview with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk today on "Closing Bell." SpaceX was named #1 to CNBC's second annual CNBC Disruptor 50 list, which was announced earlier today. Video from the interview is available at CNBC.com.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

KELLY EVANS: WELCOME BACK. THIS DISRUPTOR 50 LIST HIGHLIGHTING KEY PLAYERS ACROSS 27 INDUSTRIES. COMPANIES THAT ARE INNOVATING AND REVOLUTIONIZING AND DISRUPTING OF COURSE THEIR RESPECTIVE SECTORS. OUR JULIA BORSTEN HAS FRONTED THIS FASCINATING CNBC INITIATIVE AND JOINS ME NOW. AND SO DOES THE MAN BEHIND OUR NUMBER ONE DISRUPTOR. IT'S SPACEX AND ELON MUSK IS HERE. WELCOME TO YOU BOTH.

ELON MUSK: THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

EVANS: SPACEX CHOSEN AS THE MOST DISRUPTIVE COMPANY. WHAT'S YOUR VISION?

MUSK: FOR SPACEX, I THINK WHAT WE HAVE DONE THUS FAR IS RELATIVELY MINOR HONESTLY. I WOULD CHARACTERIZE IT AS EVOLUTIONARY. WHEREAS WHAT WE HOPE TO ACHIEVE AND CAN PERHAPS ENCOURAGE INDUSTRY TO DO IS TO ACHIEVE HAVE FULL REUSABILITY WITH ROCKETRY. IT'S NEVER BEEN DONE. YOU CAN IMAGINE IN ANY MODE OF TRANSPORT IF THERE WAS NOT REUSABILITY LIKE AIRCRAFT OR CARS THAT THERE COULD BE VERY LITTLE USE OF THAT. SO THAT'S THE THING THAT IF WE ARE ABOUT TO ACHIEVE IT, AT THAT POINT THAT'S REALLY QUITE DISRUPTIVE. WHAT WE HAVE DONE THUS FAR IS RELATIVE TO THAT, MODREATELY DISRUPTIVE.

JULIA BOORSTIN: YOU HAVE A BIG COMMERCIAL SATELLITE LAUNCH ON FRIDAY. WHAT'S THE NEXT THE NEXT BIG THING IN TERMS OF THE NEXT HORIZON FOR COMMERCIAL SPACECRAFT?

MUSK: WELL, ESSENTIALLY WHAT I WAS ALLUDING TO A MOMENT AGO WAS IS TO BE ABLE TO RECOVER THE ROCKET BOOSTER AND THEN REFLY IT. THAT'S THE REVOLUTIONARY POTENTIAL. NOW WE HAVE BEEN TRYING TO DO THAT FOR 12 YEARS AND HAVEN'T YET SUCCEEDED. BUT I FEEL AS THOUGH WE ARE FINALLY CLOSE TO ACHIEVING IT. WE HAVE A SHOT WITH THE NEXT LAUNCH OF RECOVERING THE ROCKET BOOSTER. IF NOT WITH THIS LAUNCH I THINK A VERY GOOD CHANCE LATER THIS YEAR AND THEN POTENTIALLY TO REFLY THE BOOSTER NEXT YEAR. THIS WOULD REALLY MARK A SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN THE TECHNOLOGY OF ROCKETRY.

EVANS: HOW ARE YOU CAPITALIZING THIS COMPANY? OBVIOUSLY THE U.S. GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN SOME OF YOUR OTHER INITIATIVES INCLUDING THE NEXT POSSIBLE CREW CARRIER TO THE SPACE STATION.

MUSK: RIGHT.

EVANS: IF THEY DON'T CHOOSE YOUR DRAGON V-2 MODEL, HOW MUCH OF A PROBLEM IS THAT FOR NOT ONLY THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CREW CARRIER BUT SOME OF THE OTHER PROJECTS AS YOU MENTIONED THE ONE YOU HAVE BEEN WORKING ON FOR OVER A DECADE?

MUSK: FIRST OF ALL I SHOULD ACKNOWLEDGE THE CRITICAL ROLE NASA PLAYED IN THE SUCCESS OF SPACEX. WE WOULDN'T BE ARE WHERE WE ARE WITHOUT THE HELP OF NASA. AND IT'S POSSIBLE WE MAY NOT WIN THE COMMERCIAL CREW CONTRACT. WE CERTAINLY HAVE DONE THAT WE CAN FOR OUR PART. AND I THINK WE HAVE GOT A GREAT DESIGN SOLUTION. IF NASA IN THE END DOESN'T GO WITH US, BECAUSE ALSO WE ARE COMPETING WITH BIG ESTABLISHED COMPANIES LIKE BOEING THEN WE'LL DO OUR BEST TO CONTINUE ON OUR OWN WITH OUR OWN MONEY.

EVANS: DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO CONTINUE ON YOUR OWN?

MUSK: WELL IT DEFINITELY WOULD SLOW US DOWN BUT WE WOULD KEEP GOING AND WE SHOULD KEEP LAUNCHING COMMERCIAL SATELLITES. WE HAVE AN EXISTING CONTRACT TO TRANSFER…FROM THE SPACE STATION SO WE WOULD KEEP GOING IT JUST WOULD BE SLOWER.

BOORSTIN: IN TERMS OF FINANCING THOUGH YOU SAID IN THE PAST YOUR TIME HORIZON IS TOO LONG TO GO PUBLIC. IS THAT STILL THE CASE?

MUSK: IT IS. AS YOU KNOW, INCREDIBLE FAMILIARITY WITH THE PUBLIC MARKETS. THE INCENTIVE STRUCTURE TENDS TO BE SHORT TERM. YOU CAN TRACE IT BACK TO PEOPLE THAT OWN THE STOCKS, PORTFOLIO MANAGERS. THEY ARE EVALUATED ON A QUARTERLY BASIS OR AT LEAST AN ANNUAL BASIS. THEY PUSH COMPANIES TO PRODUCE RESULTS ON A QUARTERLY OR ANNUAL BASIS. WITH SPACEX WE ARE TRYING TO DEVELOP TECHNOLOGY THAT WILL ULTIMATELY BE ABLE TO TAKE LARGE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE TO MARS. THAT'S REALLY DIFFICULT TO GET PORTFOLIO MANAGERS. IT'S BEYOND THEIR TENURE IN OWNING THE STOCK. SO IT IS DIFFICULT TO ASK THEM TO LIKE THAT

EVANS: IN THIS COUNTRY, WE HAVE INSTITUTIONS, PENSION FUNDS, INSURANCE COMPANIES WHO POTENTIALLY ARE STRUCTURED TO INVEST FOR A PERIOD OF 30 YEARS OR MORE. WHY COULDN'T IT BE THE CASE. LOOK YOU PROBABLY HAVE MORE PERSONAL CAPITAL TO BE ABLE TO GO OUT AND TRANSFORM THIS INDUSTRY AS ANYBODY OUT THERE. COULDN'T YOU GO THEM AND SAY, LOOK, I WANT A PIECE OF YOUR CAPITAL. THIS IS A COMPLETELY SPECULATIVE PROJECT. MAYBE I'M SAYING TOO MUCH THERE. IT SOUNDS SPECULATIVE.

MUSK: IT IS SPECULATIVE.

EVANS: WHY COULDN'T YOU DO THAT OR EVEN GO THE TO THE PUBLIC DIRECTLY? PEOPLE HAVE TALKED ABOUT THE NEED FOR A LONG-TERM STOCK MARKET.

MUSK: WELL I THINK PEOPLE TALK ABOUT THE LONG-TERM STOCK MARKET AND THERE ARE CERTAINLY SOME INVESTORS THAT DO HAVE A VERY LONG TIME HORIZON. BUT THEN THERE ARE ALSO A BUNCH THAT HAVE A SHORT TERM HORIZON AND WE SEE THAT IN THE HUGE FLUCTUATIONS IN THE STOCK PRICE. I DO FIND IT'S ALSO CAN BE A BIT OF A DISTRACTION TO EMPLOYEES. SOMETIMES A MOOD BAROMETER. YOU REALLY DON'T WANT PEOPLE TO BE HAPPY OR SAD BASED ON THE STOCK MOVEMENT. YOU WANT THEM TO BE WORKING ON HELPING ON DEVELOPING NEWS PRODUCTS AND IMPROVING THE OPERATIONS OF THE COMPANY. I THINK FOR SPACEX WE REALLY NEED TO GET TO WHERE THINGS ARE MAYBE STEADY AND PREDICTABLE. MAYBE WE ARE CLOSE TO DEVELOPING THE MARS VEHICLE. OR IDEALLY WE HAVE FLOWN IT A FEW TIMES. THEN I THINK GOING PUBLIC COULD MAKE A LOT OF SENSE.

BOORSTIN: HOW FEASIBLE IS IT TO PUT PEOPLE ON MARS? HOW MANY YEARS AND HOW MANY BILLIONS OR MILLIONS OF DOLLARS WILL IT TAKE?

MUSK: THIS IS A VERY DIFFICULT THING OBVIOUSLY. I'M HOPEFUL THAT THE FIRST PEOPLE COULD BE TAKEN TO MARS IN 10, 12 YEARS. I THINK IT'S CERTAINLY POSSIBLE FOR THAT TO OCCUR. THE THING THAT MATTERS LONG TERM IS TO HAVE A SELF-SUSTAINING CITY ON MARS. TO MAKE LIFE MULTI PLANETARY. THAT WILL DEFINE A FUNDAMENTAL BIFURCATION OF THE FUTURE OF HUMAN CIVILIZATION. WILL EITHER BE A MULTI PLANET SPECIES AND OUT THERE AMONG THE STARS OR A SINGLE PLANET SPECIES UNTIL SOME EVENTUAL EXTINCTION EVENT, NATURAL OR MAN MADE.

EVANS: I WONDER WHAT'S THE DIFFICULT CHALLENGE. GETTING PEOPLE TO MARS OR GETTING A CAR BATTERY THAT COSTS LESS THAN $5,000.

MUSK: I THINK PROBABLY MARS. THE CAR BATTERY CERTAINLY IS HARD. I'M QUITE OPTIMISTIC THOUGH ABOUT IMPROVEMENTS IN THE BATTERY PRICE OR THE COST OF THE BATTERY. THE FUNDAMENTAL COST. WE HAVE DAILY MEETINGS WITH PANASONIC, OUR KEY DEVELOPMENT PARTNER, ON THIS. I AND REALLY FEELING QUITE GOOD ABOUT BEING ABLE TO PRODUCE A COMPELLING MASS MARKET CAR IN ABOUT THREE YEARS.

EVANS: BECAUSE THERE IS THIS COMPANY PHINERGY AN ISRAELI COMPANY, PERHAPS YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH THEM.

MUSK: NO BUT IM SURE MAYBE THEY HAVE GOT SOMETHING COOL.

EVANS: AS I UNDERSTAND IT FINERGY IS TESTING AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE WITH A RANGE OF 1100 MILES ON TECHNOLOGY THAT IS ALUMINUM AIR TECHNOLOGY. HAS ACTUALLY BEEN AROUND SINCE THE 1960s. THERE HAVE BEEN ISSUES IN THE PAST I GUESS WITH ITS DURABILITY BUT ALCOA IS NOW A PARTNER FOR THEM. COULD THIS METHOD SUPPLANT OR EVEN GO A STEP BEYOND WHAT TESLA SO FAR HAS BEEN ABLE TO DEVELOP?

MUSK: MY RESPONSE, WHEN THERE IS A BATTERY BREAKTHROUGH ANNOUNCED IS ALWAYS TO INVITE THEM TO SEND US AN EXAMPLE THAT WE CAN EVALUATE IN OUR LABS. JUST TO SORT OF VERIFY CLAIMS. WHAT WE FIND IS THERE ARE A LOT OF CLAIMS MADE BUT THESE CLAIMS DO NOT SURVIVE THE LIGHT OF DAY. NOW THAT MAY NOT BE THE CASE IN THIS PARTICULAR SITUATION BUT I CAN TELL YOU THE GENERAL PROBLEM IS WITH BATTERIES THAT ARE ANYTHING AIR WHICH IS THAT THEY HAVE A PER CYCLE LIFE. YOU CAN HAVE LITHIUM AIR BATTERIES. THAT'S REALLY VERY HIGH ENERGY. YOU CAN'T RECHARGE THEM VERY EASILY BECAUSE THEY HAVE SOMETHING CALLED DENDRETIC GROWTH AND FALL APART AFTER A FEW CHARGES. YOU NEED A NEW BATTERY QUITE FREQUENTLY.

BOORSTIN: YOUR MOVE TO OPEN UP TESLA'S PATENTS TO ANYONE WAS REALLY UNUSUAL VERY DISRUPTIVE. WHAT'S THE LONG TERM PLAY HERE IN TERMS OF THE TYPES OF SERVICES OR TECHNOLOGY TESLA COULD SELL TO MAKE THIS ALL WORTHWHILE.

MUSK: WE ARE REALLY NOT -- THERE IS NO GRAND PLAN WITH THE OPEN SOURCING OF PATENTS. WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE HELPFUL TO THE INDUSTRY. PEOPLE COULD USE THEM OR NOT. FOR A WHILE WE THOUGHT WE HAVE TO HAVE THESE PATENTS BECAUSE THE BIG CAR COMPANIES WOULD JUST COPY OUR STUFF AND USE THEIR SCALE TO OVERWHELM US. THEN WE'LL BE DEAD. WHAT WE FOUND IS THAT ACTUALLY THE BIG CAR COMPANIES AREN'T GOING TOWARD ELECTRIC CARS VERY SWIFTLY OR AT ALL IN SOME CASES. WE THOUGHT THERE WAS NO POINT IN HAVING THESE PATENTS. BECAUSE THE PATENTS ARE NOT THE THING STOPPING THEM FROM GOING. MAYBE IF WE OPEN SOURCE THE PATENTS THEY WILL BE MORE INCLINED TO MAKE ELECTRIC CARS. THAT SEEMS LIKE A GOOD THING TO DO.

EVANS: WHAT'S THE POINT OF HAVING ELECTRIC VEHICLES? IN OTHER WORDS IS FROM AN ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY POINT OF VIEW? IS IT A REDUCTION OF TRADITIONAL OIL AND OTHER FOSSIL FUELS? I ASKED BECAUSE MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO SAY LOOK IF IT TAKES THE EQUIVALENT OF LOTS OF COAL TO POWER OR FIRE THE VEHICLES, HOW IS THAT IN OUR PUBLIC INTEREST? WHAT YOU THINK THE POINT OF HAVING ELECTRIC VEHICLES IS?

MUSK: I'M GLAD YOU ASKED THAT QUESTION. TODAY WE ANNOUNCED AT SOLAR CITY WE ARE ACQUIRING SILEVO A COMPANY WHICH HAS GREAT SOLAR PANEL TECHNOLOGY. WE THINK THERE IS A POTENTIAL BREAK THROUGH WITH HIGH EFFICIENCY LOW COST SOLAR PANELS THAT CAN GENERATE SUSTAINABLE ELECTRICITY AND THEN YOU CAN COMBINE THE SORT OF SUSTAINABLE ELECTRICITY GENERATION WITH ELECTRIC CARS AND YOU HAVE AN OVERALL SYSTEM THAT WORKS AND CAN SCALE TO WORLDWIDE CAPABILITY. BECAUSE YOU'RE RIGHT. IT WOULDN'T HELP TO JUST SOLVE ONE SIDE OF THE QUESTION TO HAVE ELECTRIC CARS POWERED BY COAL. WE NEED SUSTAINABLE POWER GENERATION AND SUSTAINABLE POWER CONSUMPTION.

BOORSTIN: ONE OF THE OTHERS STARTUPS ON THE DISRUPTOR 50 LIST IS ABOUT CHARGING STATION, CHARGE POINT. I KNOW YOU ARE IN TALKS TO COLLABORATE WITH YOUR RIVALS NISSAN AND BMW, ON THESE CHARGING STATIONS. WHAT'S THE NEXT FRONTIER IN TERMS OF HELPING TO BUILD OUT THE INFRASTRUCTURE SO IT'S REALLY WORTHWHILE FOR MORE PEOPLE TO BUILD ELECTRIC CARS AND AS WELL AS BUY THEM.

MUSK: WELL, YEAH. THE REASON WE BUILT UP THE SUPER CHARGED NETWORK IS BECAUSE THERE WAS NO HIGH SPEED CHARGING AVAILABLE. YOU HAVE TO MATCH THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GASOLINE CAR IN ORDER FOR PEOPLE TO BUY AN ELECTRIC CAR. THEY DON'T WANT TO FEEL AS THOUGHTHEIR FREEDOM CURTAILED IN BUYING ELECTRIC CARS. THEY WANT TOBE ABLE TO DO A CROSS COUNTRY TRIP, VISIT FRIENDS AND FAMILY, GO ON VACATION. THESE KIND OF THINGS. THERE WAS NO CHARGE SYSTEM THAT COULD DO IT. WE DEVELOPED THE SUPER CHARGER TECHNOLOGY. WE ARE MORE THAN HAPPY TO HAVE OTHER MANUFACTURERS USE IT. WE HAVE OFFERED THIS TO BMW AND DAIMLER AND TOYOTA AND OTHERS. REALLY THE ONLY REQUIREMENTS IS THE CAR HAS TO BE ABLE TO TAKE THE POWER LEVEL OF THE SUPER CHARGER. IF IT ONLY TAKES A SMALL AMOUNT OF POWER IT WILL HOG THE SPOT. IT HAS TO TAKE THE POWER LEVEL. THEN THEY HAVE TO PROPORTIONATELY SHARE THE COST OF THE SYSTEM. THAT'S ALL.

BOORSTIN: NOW YOU'RE SO ENCOURAGING OF YOUR COMPETITORS IN THE TESLA, IN THE ELECTRIC CAR SPACE. IT SEEMS LIKE A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT SITUATION WHEN IT COMES TO SPACEX. YOU HAVE EXPRESSED FRUSTRATION ABOUT THE FACT THAT BOEING AND LOCKHEED JOINT VENTURE HAVE A VIRTUAL MONOPOLY ON THE DEFENSE SATELLITE LAUNCHES.

MUSK: YES.

BOORSTIN: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO BREAK THAT MONOPOLY AND HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THOSE COMPETITORS?

MUSK: WELL, I GUESS THE THING WE ARE MAD ABOUT THERE IS THAT THERE WAS THIS HUGE BLOCK OF NATIONAL SECURITY LAUNCHES THAT WERE NOT OPEN TO COMPETITION. SO SOMETIMES PEOPLE THINK WELL WE ARE MAD BECAUSE WE DIDN'T WIN. BUT ACTUALLY, WE'RE JUST MAD BECAUSE WE NEVER EVEN GOT THE OPPORTUNITY TO COMPETE. THAT DOESN'T SEEM RIGHT. YOU KNOW, IT SEEMS THE LAW OF THE LAND IS YOU SHOULD COMPETE THINGS. SO THAT'S THE NATURE OF OUR PROTEST IS THAT YOU KNOW, LAUNCHES SHOULD BE COMPETED AND THEN WHATEVER THE BEST DEAL IS FOR THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER, THAT IS WHAT SHOULD WIN.

EVANS: WE WANT TO TALK A LITTL BIT ABOUT SOME OF YOUR BIG IDEAS. BEFORE WE DO THOUGH, YOU MENTIONED THE DEAL THAT SOLARCITY HAS JUST MADE TODAY BUYING SOLEVO.

MUSK: SOLEVO, YEAH.

EVANS: AND THIS ONE IS INTERESTING FOR A COUPLE OF REASONS. IF YOU TALK ABOUT SOLAR TECHNOLOGY TODAY, SOLAR PANEL MANUFACTURING, THERE IS A LOT OF OVERSUPPLY IN THE INDUSTRY. HERB GREENBERG EARLIER TODAY WAS SAYING, YOU KNOW, WE STILL NEED CONSOLIDATION. WE STILL NEED FEWER OF THESE PANELS MADE. AND OTHERS SAY IT'S STILL TOO EXPENSIVE. IT STILL MIGHT COST $25,000 OR SOMETHING FOR A HOUSEHOLD ON TOP OF THE COST OF ACTUALLY INSTALLING THESE PANELS TO USE THEM. HOW IS THIS ACQUISITION GOING TO CHANGE THE GAME? GOING TO MAKE IT CHEAPER? OR , IS THAT THE POINT FIRST OF ALL. AND HOW MUCH CHEAPER? AND HOW LONG UNTIL HOUSEHOLDS AND CARS ARE GENUINELY RUNNING ON SOLAR TECHNOLOGY IN THIS COUNTRY?

MUSK: WELL WE CERTAINLY HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO BEFORE SOLAR IS ANY HUGE PERCENTAGE OF OUR ELECTRICITY GENERATION. THE WAY WE SEE IT AT SOLARCITY IS THAT ALTHOUGH THERE IS SORT OF AN OVERSUPPLY OF A PARTICULAR TYPE OF PANEL, THE LOW EFFICIENCY OR MODERATE EFFICIENCY PANELS TODAY, WHAT THERE IS NOT ENOUGH OF, ARE THE HIGH EFFICIENCY PANELS. AND AS WE LOOK FURTHER OUT, EVEN JUST TWO OR THREE YEARS OUT, WE ACTUALLY SEE THERE BEING INSUFFICIENT CAPACITY FOR SOLAR PANELS. WHICH IS IN PART CAUSED BY THE OVERSUPPLY OF THE SORT OF LOW EFFICIENCY PANELS TO DATE WHICH PREVENTS PEOPLE FROM THEN INVESTING IN THE FUTURE. SO IT'S A WEIRD BOOM AND BUST. SO IT IS SORT OF LIKE IN THE BUST TIMES, YOU HAVE TO INVEST IN ORDER FOR THE BOOM TIMES TO WORK OUT AND NOT BE SUPPLY CONSTRAINED TWO OR THREE YEARS FROM NOW. SO WE ARE JUST TRYING TO THINK A FEW MOVES AHEAD HERE. AND ALSO TO MAKE SURE THAT THE HIGH EFFICIENCY PANELS ARE MADE IN HIGH VOLUME. I MEAN, AT THE RISK OF SORT OF GETTING INTO A SORT OF SLIGHTLY COMPLICATED SITUATION, THE HIGHER EFFICIENCY PANELS ALLOW YOU TO HAVE A SMALLER FOOTPRINT OF THE SOLAR PANELS. SO YOU NEED FEWER PANELS IN ORDER TO GENERATE THE SAME AMOUNT OF ELECTRICITY. AND THE LABOR COSTS AND THR INSTALLATION COSTS AND THE WIRING AND ALL THAT ARE PROPORTIONATE TO THE SURFACE AREA. SO IN ORDER TO LOWER THE TOTAL SYSTEM COST, IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO HAVE HIGH EFFICIENCY PANELS.

BOORSTIN: NOW, I HAVE TO ASK YOU ABOUT A COMPANY THAT YOU INVESTED IN. AS YOU SAID, YOU MAKE ALMOST NO INVESTMENTS OUTSIDE OF SPACEX AND TESLA.

MUSK: YEAH I'M NOT REALLY AN INVESTOR.

BOORSTIN: YOU'RE NOT AN INVESTOR?

MUSK: RIGHT. I DON'T OWN ANY PUBLIC SECURITIES A PART FROM SOLARCITY AND TESLA.

BOORSTIN: THAT'S AMAZING. BUT YOU DID JUST INVEST IN A COMPANY CALLED VICARIOUS. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE. WHAT IS THIS COMPANY?

MUSK: RIGHT. I WAS ALSO AN INVESTOR IN DEEPMIND BEFORE GOOGLE ACQUIRED IT AND VICARIOUS. MOSTLY I SORT OF – IT'S NOT FROM THE STANDPOINT OF ACTUALLY TRYING TO MAKE ANY INVESTMENT RETURN. IT'S REALLY, I LIKE TO JUST KEEP AN EYE ON WHAT'S GOING ON WITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE. I THINK THERE IS POTENTIALLY A DANGEROUS OUTCOME THERE AND WE NEED TO –

EVANS: DANGEROUS? HOW SO?

EVANS: POTENTIALLY, YES. I MEAN, THERE HAVE BEEN MOVIES ABOUT THIS, YOU KNOW, LIKE "TERMINATOR".

EVANS: WELL YES, BUT MOVIES ARE – EVEN IF THAT IS THE CASE, WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT IT? I MEAN, WHAT DANGERS DO YOU SEE THAT YOU CAN ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING ABOUT?

MUSK: I DON'T KNOW.

BOORSTIN: WELL WHY DID YOU INVEST IN VICARIOUS? WHAT EXACTLY DOES VICARIOUS DO? WHAT DO YOU SEE IT DOING DOWN THE LINE?

MUSK: WELL, I MEAN, VICARIOUS REFERS TO IT AS RECURSIVE CORTICAL NETWORKS. ESSENTIALLY EMULATING THE HUMAN BRAIN. AND SO I THINK –

BOORSTIN: SO YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT TECHNOLOGY IS USED FOR GOOD AND NOT TERMINATOR-LIKE EVIL?

MUSK: YEAH. I MEAN, I DON'T THINK – IN THE MOVIE "TERMINATOR," THEY DIDN'T CREATE A.I. TO – THEY DIDN'T EXPECT, YOU KNOW SOME SORT OF TERMINATOR-LIKE OUTCOME. IT IS SORT OF LIKE THE MONTY PYTHON THING. NOBODY EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION. IT'S JUST – YOU KNOW, BUT YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL. YEAH, YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT –

EVANS: BUT HERE IS THE IRONY. I MEAN, THE MAN WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SOME OF THE MOST ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY IN THIS COUNTRY IS WORRIED ABOUT THE ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY THAT YOU ARE AWARE OF.

MUSK: YEAH.

EVANS: I MEAN, I GUESS THAT IS WHY I KEEP ASKING, SO WHAT CAN YOU DO? IN OTHER WORDS, THIS STUFF IS ALMOST INEXORABLE, ISN'T IT? HOW IF YOU SEE THAT THERE ARE THESE BRAIN-LIKE DEVELOPMENTS OUT THERE CAN YOU REALLY DO ANYTHING TO STOP IT?

MUSK: I DON'T KNOW.

BOORSTIN: BUT WHAT SHOULD A.I. BE USED FOR? WHAT'S ITS BEST VALUE?

MUSK: I DON'T KNOW. BUT THERE ARE SOME SCARY OUTCOMES. AND WE SHOULD TRY TO MAKE SURE THE OUTCOMES ARE GOOD, NOT BAD. YEAH.

EVANS: OR ESCAPE TO MARS IF THERE IS NO OTHER OPTION.

MUSK: THE A.I. WILL CHASE US THERE PRETTY QUICKLY.

EVANS: SO WHAT ELSE IS IN THE ELON MUSK NOTEBOOK? WHAT'S THE LATEST WITH THE HYPER LOOP?

MUSK: I UNDERSTAND THAT THERE ARE SOME COMPANIES THAT ARE FORMING TO TRY TO MAKE THE HYPER LOOP HAPPEN. I ENCOURAGE THEM. I THINK THAT'S GREAT. I'M SUPER FOCUSED ON TESLA AND SPACEX AND A SMALL AMOUNT ON SOLARCITY. SO THAT BASICALLY COMPLETELY USES UP MY BRAIN. BUT I HOPE SOMETHING HAPPENS WITH THE HYPER LOOP. AND IF NOTHING HAPPENS WITH IT, THEN I MEAN, I WILL PROBABLY DO SOMETHING DOWN TO ROAD AND TO TRY TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

BOORSTIN: AND YOU'VE SAID ONCE YOU GET TESLA TO A CERTAIN POINT WITH AN AFFORDABLE CAR ON THE MARKET YOU ARE GOING TO BE READY FOR YOUR NEXT THING. WHAT IS THE NEXT THING?

MUSK: WELL, I'M ALWAYS GOING TO BE INVOLVED WITH TESLA. I MEAN, FOREVER. THE ONLY QUESTION IS WHETHER I WILL BE CEO FOREVER OR AT LEAST UNTIL I DIE, YOU KNOW. SO I'M COMMITTED TO BE CEO OF TESLA THROUGH VOLUME PRODUCTION OF THE MASS MARKET VEHICLE. BUT I WILL CONTINUE TO BE INVOLVED WITH TESLA AS FAR INTO THE FUTURE AS I CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE. THE ONLY QUESTION IS WHETHER I WILL REMAIN AS CEO, SAY, FIVE YEARS FROM NOW. THAT'S THE ONLY QUESTION.

BOORSTIN: AND AS THE ULTIMATE DISRUPTOR, WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE TECHNOLOGIES OUT THERE, YOU'VE TALKED A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE. WHAT ELSE DO YOU THINK IS REALLY DISRUPTIVE TO THE STATUS QUO RIGHT NOW?

MUSK: WELL, WRITING GENETICS. REWRITING HUMAN GENETICS. THAT WOULD BE QUITE DISRUPTIVE.

BOORSTIN: AND ARE THERE ANY COMPANIES YOU WOULD POINT TO THAT YOU THINK ARE DOING A GOOD JOB? THEY ARE LEADING THE CHARGE?

MUSK: I DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT THAT ARENA. EXCEPT THAT, IF YOU ASK WOULD IT BE A VERY DISRUPTIVE THING, I THINK THAT WOULD BE VERY DISRUPTIVE. I MEAN, AT THIS POINT, HUMAN LIFE SPAN IS MOSTLY ABOUT OLD AGE. IT'S NOT ABOUT CANCER OR ANYTHING ELSE. IF YOU CURED CANCER, I THINK THE AVERAGE LIFE EXPECTANCY WOULD INCREASE FROM TWO YEARS. YOU WOULD GO FROM 80 TO 82 OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. WE JUST HAVE A GENETIC LIFE SPAN. IT'S KIND OF LIKE IF YOU TAKE A FRUIT FLY AND GAVE IT THE BEST EXERCISE AND DIET POSSIBLE, THE PERFECT LIFE. MAYBE IT WILL LIVE FOUR WEEKS INSTEAD OF THREE WEEKS. GENETICS JUST DRIVES A LOT OF THESE THINGS. SO FOR SOMETHING TO BE TRULY DISRUPTIVE ON THAT FRONT, YOU WOULD WANT TO DO SOMETHING WITH GENETICS. I DON'T HAVE MUCH INVOLVEMENT THERE. OR ANY INVOLVEMENT REALLY.

BOORSTIN: NOW, THERE IS A COMPANY THAT SEQUENCED DNA – 23ANDME THAT CAME UP AGAINST SOME MAJOR GOVERNMENT REGULATION WHICH IN EFFECT SHUT DOWN ITS BUSINESS. YOU HAVE COME AGAINST SOME GOVERNMENT REGULATION WITH YOUR TESLA DEALERSHIPS IN NEW JERSEY. WHAT'S YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON THE ROLE THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD PLAY IN INNOVATION?

MUSK: WELL I THINK THE GOVERNMENT IS SORT OF LIKE THE REFEREE. I GUESS THE REFEREE AND RULE MAKER. THAT'S REALLY THE ROLE OF THE GOVERNMENT. I MEAN, GENERALLY, THE GOVERNMENT SHOULDN'T GET ON THE FIELD UNLESS IT REALLY HAS TO. BUT I DO THINK THERE WAS A ROLE FOR GOVERNMENT TO MAKE SURE THAT THE RIGHT THING IS HAPPENING. IN THE CASE OF NEW JERSEY, OF COURSE SOMETIMES THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN. BUT I SHOULD POINT OUT THAT THE NEW JERSEY LEGISLATOR HAS RECENTLY PASSED A LAW TO ALLOW TESLA SALES IN NEW YORK, AT LEAST ON THE HOUSE SIDE. AND WE ARE WAITING TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS ON THE SENATE SIDE.

EVANS: DO YOU EXPECT THAT TO MOVE FORWARD? GOVERNOR CHRISTIE SIGNS THIS INTO LAW?

MUSK: I HOPE SO. IT CERTAINLY – GIVEN THAT IT WAS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED BY THE NEW JERSEY HOUSE. I THINK THERE WERE THREE – TWO PEOPLE WEREN'T THERE AND ONE ABSTAINED. SO IT WAS ESSENTIALLY UNANIMOUS. SO IF THE NEW JERSEY HOUSE IS SAYING IT IS UNANIMOUS, THEN I WOULD ASSUME THE GOVERNOR WOULD ULTIMATELY SIGN THAT LAW.

EVANS: AND HAVE YOU MADE UP YOUR MIND ON THE GIGAFACTORY YET?

MUSK: NO, NOT YET. ONE THING I SHOULD SAY ABOUT THE GIGAFACTORY IS THAT I THINK THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK WE ARE JUST TRYING TO PUT THE SCREWS TO VARIOUS STATES TO GET THE MOST INCENTIVE – AS MUCH INCENTIVE AS POSSIBLE.

EVANS: WHICH HAS CERTAIN LOGIC TO IT, BY THE WAY.

MUSK: I GUESS IT DOES, BUT THAT'S NOT ACTUALLY OUR GOAL. REALLY, OUR MAIN CONCERN IS TO MAKE SURE THAT THE GIGAFACTORY – THAT THE GIANT BATTERY FACTORY IS READY WHEN THE THIRD GENERATION CAR IS READY. BECAUSE IF WE GO AND DESIGN THE CAR AND WE TOOL UP TO PRODUCE THE REST OF THE CAR WHICH IS ALSO A BIG EXPENSE, BUT THEN THERE ARE NO BATTERIES TO SUPPLY IT, IT WOULD BE A TERRIBLE OUTCOME FOR TESLA. WE MIGHT FAIL AS A COMPANY. SO THAT HAS TO BE PARAMOUNT IN OUR DECISION-MAKING. SO WE ARE ACTUALLY GOING TO BE MOVING FORWARD AT A PRELIMINARY PHASE WITH AT LEAST TWO, MAYBE THREE LOCATIONS. ALL WITH AN EYE TOWARDS COMPLETING IT IN TIME FOR WHEN THE REST OF THE CAR IS READY. THAT IS REALLY WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT.

EVANS: ELON, THANK YOU FOR YOUR THOUGHTS ON SUCH A WIDE RANGE OF ISSUES THIS AFTERNOON. REALLY APPRECIATE ALL OF YOUR TIME. JULIA BOORSTIN, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE DISRUPTOR 50 LIST AND ALL OF THE WORK YOU HAVE BEEN DOING. FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE INTERESTED, BE SURE TO TUNE IN NOT ONLY TO THE REST OF THE DISRUPTOR 50 ONLINE BUT TOMORROW, AS WE CONTINUE TO DIVE INTO THE LIST, IT WILL BEGIN AGAIN AT 7:00 A.M. EASTERN. ELON MUSK, WE APPRECIATE IT.

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